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Pcar, I've been away for the weekend, and am just catching up with the goings on here over the last 48 hours. I have tried to email you; I hope it works.

Oct 21, 2018 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Supertroll, thank you for recommending The Star. Superb! Arthur C. Clarke sure was a master of his genre.

Another one of his short stories, The Nine Billion Names of God, put the wind up me as a teenager. I later encountered a statement by Pascal: "Le silence eternel de ces espaces infinis m'effraie" and thought back to that existential jolt given me by Clarke.

I only recently read his The Sentinel, the short story which inspired him and Stanley Kubrick for 2001 A Space Odyssey. Again, a concise little gem with nary a wasted word.

Oct 21, 2018 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

PS I love Canada, especially Vancouver island, apart from the climate.

Oct 21, 2018 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

Supertroll, Absotutely, I have always found good people everywhere I have travelled and I have always been well received especially away from the major towns. I was surprised how well I was received in Arch Angle during the USSR period. It suprised me because I had been fed the cold war propaganda like everyone else. They remembered the Arctic Conveys and the the sacrifices made very humbling.

Oct 21, 2018 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

RossLea And the U.S. is full of the most wonderful and delightful people as well.

Oct 21, 2018 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

PS don't ask me why it's a mistery to me !

Oct 21, 2018 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

Supertoll, The USA is full of them.

Oct 21, 2018 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

Brent. Thank you for telling me that I will have done my good deed for the day.

I once discussed science and religion with a Christian fundamentalist who was also a palaeontologist when we both worked for Amoco Oil Company. He explained to me how he could square his religious beliefs that the Earth was created in days, with his ability to use microfossils to date geological strata which conventional geologists interpreted as having taken millions of years to form. He explained that his god placed the microfossils in the rock strata when he created the Earth so that believers, like himself, could earn their living. He lost patience with me when I said that, such a belief meant that his God tricked people. He was also one of the most racially prejudiced people I ever talked with during my time in the USA.

Oct 21, 2018 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Oct 21, 2018 at 12:35 PM | Golf Charlie "The High Priests of Climate Science have presented CO2 as the Evil God"

I agree. When I first wondered at how this global warming apocalypse cult was getting such traction I realised that it's merely the latest in a long series. The Devil. Barbarians at the gates of Christendom. Anarchists poisoning the Victorian water supply with cholera. Flying saucers. Reds under the bed in America. The swine flu pandemic of 2003. In my formative years it was the depletion of natural resources. No less a figure than Isaac Asimov, writing in Playboy (as I say, my formative years!) described motorways strewn with abandoned vehicles on the Day The Petrol Ran Out. To my embarrassment I bought a stack of A4 paper believing that The Day The Paper Ran Out was imminent.

Man seems to have a deep need to fear a bogeyman of some description, possibly an advantageous evolutionary trait. I reckon that each scare evaporates only when the next'un comes along.

Entropic Man, if a genuine existential threat comes along - a Dinosaur Killer asteroid for instance - you'll be pooh-poohing global warming and wanting to protect your grandkids against the Big A. You'll be doing an impression of John Cleese in 'Life of Brian': "He IS the true Messiah. I should know.... I've followed enough!" Humanity may not be able to afford a spaceship for Bruce Willis to go up and sort it cos we pissed all the money away on windmills! It'll be YOUR FAULT! :)

Oct 21, 2018 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Supertroll, I'm relishing reading the Arthur Clarke story you recommend. Will do.

On the science v faith issue, Alistair Cooke wrote in his 'America' of the Christian reaction to Darwin's work. Where previously no modern person would take, say, Noah's Ark literally some Christians dug their heels in. Instead of accommodating the new understanding ("well, of course a seven-day creation is not meant literally but there's plenty of good sense in the god ol' bible"), some were driven into absurd fundamentalism especially in the US 'Bible Belt'. I get the same sense with our friend EM: were he to concede that CO2 isn't the Devil's gas about to sizzle us all to death, next thing you know he'll be conceding that climate has always bleedin' changed, followed by - who knows? - the collapse of the green agenda and folks barbecuing orang utangs.

Green fundamentalists are relying on catsatrophism to advance their agenda. They're fools, cos the general public is fast concluding that these gits have been crying wolf. This may damage public support for sensible environmental policies on, say, pollution and habitat loss.

Oct 21, 2018 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

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